It's become an axiom of better education that we need strong parental involvement. If parents aren't helping with homework, encouraging good study habits and generally supporting the work of teachers, then student performance suffers.
Not necessarily so, say sociologists Angel Harris and Keith Robinson. They've been working on a study to check the reality of that widely-held belief. And they say that parents not only are not very important, they often create more problems than they solve. So what should we do about that? Tell parents to stay out of education? Rethink our assessments of student performance?
Angel Harris, Departments of Sociology and African-American Studies, Duke University
Keith Robinson, Sociology Department, University of Texas, Austin